Strength vs Cardio

My name is Dale Nelson and I work with busy business guys on improving their health, nutrition, and fitness, to make sure that they have improved work performance.
Now, today’s question is, strength or cardio? The age-old question, that is. What is better to do, strength or cardio? Good question. I’m biased. Strength all the time.

But, this really comes back to it depends on your training goals, so if you’re training goals are to get fitter, there is some benefit to strength, but chances are you’re going to have to be out there running, you’re going to have to be out there riding, to get that fitness improvement in those areas.

If you’re trying to do CrossFit and you want to improve that capacity, it is literally just you have to commit to the program. You have to invest the time in the skipping, in the box jumps. If it’s just running, then you have to really commit to breaking up that workload, committing to the structure, following it through. If you’re looking at improving strength, then you train for strength. But, I guess it depends on the goal entirely, so if you want to see [inaudible 00:01:13] like if you’re sitting at the desk and you’d just like to have better posture or a better back, less back pain, less lower hip pain; if you want to just decrease how you feel, how tight your shoulders are and things like that; I would recommend strength as it encourages a full spectrum of movement.

You go through a full range of muscle movements in the squat into overhead movements into pulling movements and things like that. Those sort of angles are going to target different muscles through the body and encourage you to adapt in a way that’s going to support, strengthening the back, strengthening the neck, engaging through the glutes to open up those hips.

Those sort of exercises, they are really going to help in terms of strength development, but also pain relief. In terms of what I recommend for strength or cardio, I would go strength if you are desk-bound and don’t have fitness-related goals. If you have fitness-related goals like running marathons, riding in a triathlon, things like that, you just have to focus on the fitness-related activities because strength will not transfer too well into the fitness category, although it does have its benefits in making sure that you have a well-rounded body to avoid injury. So, for injury avoidance, strength for improved fitness, cardio.

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